The South China Sea for years was a dormant area. But during the period of Obama things began to happen as China became aggressive and lay physical claim to almost 80% of The South China Sea. Having built up its military muscle, the Chinese began to reclaim islands from the ocean and started a military buildup. The Philippines went to the International Court which gave its verdict dismissing China's claim.

The Chinese, however, rejected the verdict of the international tribunal and continued their build up. The fact that some of the islands are almost 800 km from the Chinese coast has not deterred them.

This buildup took some years, and the Obama administration is guilty of watching this build up like a spectator. With Donald at the helm, there is a hardening of the US position, but the horse has bolted, and China has already secured a massive foothold.

Donald and SC Sea

Donald Trump for all his tweets has to face reality. He has authorized patrolling the South China Sea and the aircraft carrier USS Vincent carried out an exercise in the area. But carrying out an exercise and getting the Chinese to dismantle their military apparatus are two different things. The Chinese have reiterated their claims and the states bordering the China sea are alarmed. They cannot do much except write diplomatic notes.

Donald Trump has to face China, but the million dollar question is how will he get China to dismantle its military establishment on the islands?

Intractable problem

The problem at the moment looks intractable. For China, there is only one solution i.e., acceptance of their claim to almost 80% of the sea.In fact, China has presented the USA with a fait accompli.

It looks like that the only way that the USA can get China to vacate the islands is by going to war. There is no other way as the Chinese have reiterated their rights. Given the logistic limitations and the overall military superiority of the Chinese in the region, war cannot be a solution.

Last word

Donald will have to face up to China, sooner than later. It will be interesting to see how he tackles China in the South China Sea.The cards are stacked against him.